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Eminent Domain Team Clears the Way for the Expo Line

Bringing public transit to the west-side had long been a dream in Los Angeles but it was always difficult to make it a reality.  When the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority embarked on constructing the $2+ billion, 15-mile light rail Expo Line from downtown Los Angeles to two blocks from the Santa Monica Pier, it turned to Nossaman to assist with addressing environmental challenges and ultimately acquiring all necessary property for the project.  Constructing new stations, relocating utilities, and addressing expensive, complex real estate and business claims was no easy feat, but Nossaman was able to successfully acquire high-profile properties such as the famous Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica, where a business sought damages of over $10 million but Nossaman was able to secure a ruling from the court eviscerating the claim.  Nossaman also tried to a jury the acquisition of a portion of a retail shopping center which involved a real estate claim by the property’s owner and a goodwill claim by a Wendy’s fast food restaurant.  The jury verdict was exactly at Expo’s damages figure as to the real estate, and only 5% of the goodwill claim presented by the business.  The total verdict was far less than Expo had offered to settle for before trial.  As a result of the effective property acquisitions, the project is now operational, and Santa Monica is now connected by rail to Downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Long Beach, and dozens of points in between.  Those traveling from the west-side have an alternative means of transportation to avoid the congested freeway and ultimately experience an improved quality of life.

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